ParanoiA Posted May 29, 2013 Share Posted May 29, 2013 Not sure I'm posting this in the right subforum or not, so please feel free to move this to a better spot. Been getting fairly frustrated lately with the inconsistency of information regarding the scientific method, inductive reasoning, theory, hypothesis, proof vs. disproof... I thought you guys gave me a pretty good handle on this back when I used to frequent this forum, but increasingly, I'm growing suspicious of what I believe. And Google searching is producing mixed results. 1) I thought is was clear that science creates hypotheses via induction - that we formulate ideas about how things work by observing phenomena and inferring broad principles. We cannot deduct because we must imagine and infer how things work, and then test our ideas. We deduct when we use hypotheses to describe how things will behave - we apply those principles, or hypotheses. So, induction to formulate hypotheses, and deduction to apply hypotheses. And I thought this was simply the natural state of affairs since we have no objective view of the universe or reality. We are inside the proverbial test box, so we are naturally limited to inductive reasoning. And this is why all theories and hypotheses are replaceable by better ones. 2) I thought science does not prove things. That when we test our hypotheses, we are testing to disprove, or to falsify never to prove or verify (going back to the inherent limit of induction). I thought there was no truth in science. That it doesn't matter if a hypothesis has been tested one million times and has failed to be falsified, that we cannot make the leap to "truth" and "proof" despite how small and insignificant the leap may be, as that would invoke "faith" and science doesn't use faith. There is no 100% verifiable truth. Again, this is why all theories and hypotheses are replaceable by better ones. 3) Finally, I thought theories were formulated by hypotheses. That we test numerous hypotheses, and then formulate a theory that uses them. That a theory is rigorously tested because it is made up of hypotheses that were rigorously tested. These ideas and belief feel completely natural to me. What do I have right, and what do I have wrong? Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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